report by Laura Kenny (back row, 4th from right in the photo)

Sunday the 19th of January marked the 3rd of this seasons Meet and Train cross country runs. The misery of the stormy morning after the Christmas party now a hazy memory we pulled up to the Ballyboden, St. Enda’s GAA Clubhouse in the bright sunshine of a very crisp winter’s day. Being a part of Team F meant that half of our team , myself included, were donning the spikes for the first time and the ‘F’ was swiftly starting to stand for Fear, Frostbite and are we slightly F#@king Mad!

The carpark was packed and people were already warming up and checking out the course conditions. The course runs 2 laps of the pitch with a quick duck in and out of the woods. A few hilly spots but with zero mud in sight due to the Baltic conditions everyone was cheerful as we did a lap to warm us up. Michael had helpful brought the flag but not the gazeebo (as he didn’t want to spoil us!) and with the gear stashed we got in a couple of strides before heading to the starting line.

The atmosphere was buzzing as people jostled for positions but we were quickly brought back to earth when the race organisers called for a minutes silence to remember the son of a member of Blackrock Athlete who tragically passed away over the Christmas break. A silent tribute was paid and then it was back to focusing on what lay ahead.

The start was fast I and I could see members of Sportsworld teams flying off the line. With the sun starting to warm up and the ground still frozen the first lap passed in a blurr. The support from Sportworld club members and friends and family was fantastic. There didn’t seem to be a corner unmanned by someone giving a cheerful shout out. Shouts of encouragement from Emily and Miles really helped on the second lap when the going got tough and the legs started to fade.  I had kept my teammate Deirdre in my sights and it really helped to push me over the last 300m.

Upon finishing and finally catching my breath I found out that Sportworld had yet again played a blinder. Team A finally snatched the lead from Crusaders Team A. It is now all down to the final race coming up on the 16th of February. There was great running from the rest of Sportsworlds Teams on the day as well and it really is all to play for.

There was of course the missing Gazeebo still to reckon with. But the lack of a tent was not going to stop Gemma and she made a bold stand and showed Crusaders what strong stuff Sports world women are made of……. I have a feeling that Emily may insist on the tent going up at the next meet and train!

Once the cool down was done and the spikes removed we heading over to the club house for a well-deserved cuppa and a piece of homemade cake. The Meet and Trains are a great way to meet club members and really makes you feel part of the Sportsworld family. So with the Fear and Frostbite a distant memory I guess team f had a pretty Fantastic morning in the end.